Let's think about this for a minute. We have no archeological proof that horses existed in the America's during the time of the BoM, but we have found numerous and presumably much more difficult examples of their existence thousands of years earlier.
We have numerous examples of horses in ancient art throughout the world wherever they were domesticated, but none in Pre-Columbia America. We do however have countless examples of art depicting every other large animal existing in the Americas.
Lehi and his family arrived in the New World from a culture that had domesticated the horse and was well aware of the its many benefits. Are we to believe they simply ignored these benefits and instead used them as a food source?
The reason the Roman, Mongolian, and Ottoman empires were so large were because of the horse. Compare their sizes to the much smaller size of the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan empires which lacked this great advantage. horse has had a greater impact on humans than perhaps any other animal in existence. Are we to believe that they existed all throughout the entirety of the BoM period, but their impact was so minimal that it shows up no where in the archeological record?
We have archaeological proof, as stated in the beginning of this thread, three samples dated by non-Mormons between 800 BC and 1400 AD. The archaeological record of the New World has not been extensively examined as the Old World, one member in the field on this board stated less than 0.2 %.
Lehi and his family may be seen horses being ridden, but does that mean they were trained horse wranglers? I have seen horses ridden and rode them myself. I have seen a dozen rodeos in Wyoming and Alberta, but I haven't the first clue on how to tame a wild horse, let alone design and build proper apparatus such as a yoke or saddle. Lehi and his family in the Old World most likely used Camels for transporting goods. Did they see a need to ride one in the first place, in a land full of jungle? Other jungle empires did not use horses extensively. Were the horses they saw the same variety in the Old World. There was an article linked in this thread that mentioned Old World societies that gave up trying to ride horses because they didn't work out.
Comparing those Empires to the Aztec and Mayans is apples to oranges. The horse existed in Book of Mormon times, but may have been reduced greatly as a food source by the time the Spanish arrived so that they were not a viable option.
And how exactly did the horse help the Roman Empire? Up until late in their existence, expansion was done by infantry. Roman Legions were feared by their enemies. Their major conquests were due to their phalanx formations. Cavalry was only used as an auxiliary force. When the Roman Army marched, it did so slowly, erecting forts on the way. It was not a speedily advance. In fact, the Roman downfall was partly due to their reluctance to incorporate cavalry properly. The other two empires existed after the invention of the stirrup, which greatly enhanced mobile warfare. Horses were bred stronger to carry men in armour.
I have also stated earlier that the horse was most likely not in abundance to even consider riding or cavalry. Small pockets existed for food supplies.
If you want to compare empires, you need to select a similar jungle empire such as the Khmer Empire, with the main city of Angkor. It is close in size to the Mayan Empire. They did not use horses when they fought. Their army consisted of levied infantry supplemented by elephants. Leaders rode the beasts and spear men and archers were on foot. Their civilization was surrounded by jungle, just like the Mayans. Their civilization did not expand like the Romans or the Ottoman Empire. The Nephites also did not have Canon Technology which greatly aided the Ottoman empire to expand.
Edited by rick7475, 07 December 2013 - 09:59 PM.